Kelsey Bennett

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Panteha Abareshi Wants You to ‘Hurt Me Badly’ at The Girl Who Loves Roses

Work by Panteha Abareshi (Image courtesy of Larrie, NYC and the artist)

Panteha Abareshi specializes in cutthroat portraits that pair the rawness of ecstatic creation with the realness of first-hand experience. As a young woman of Jamaican and Iranian descent, it seems only natural that she paints other women who look like her. But according to Abareshi, there’s much more at stake than the physical appearance of her subjects.

“I draw women of color only,” she has said of her effort to bring greater visibility to women who are so often left out of, or invisible, in the art world (not to mention under- and misrepresented everywhere else, too). But there are no smiling models or perfect angels in any of the paintings on view at The Girl Who Loves Roses, a show of Abareshi’s work at the new downtown gallery Larrie, NYC (“It’s a women’s space,” founder Emily Spitale told me). Instead, the women you meet are brooding, suffering, and embattled. Often they are splattered in blood, wearing a vacant expression, and seemingly staring at a target point that hovers right between your eyebrows.

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Lifeforce Ditches Our Dystopian Present For a Post-Gender Cyborg Future

"Olympia" by Kelsey Bennett (Image courtesy of Kelsey Bennett)

“Olympia44” by Kelsey Bennett (Image courtesy of Kelsey Bennett)

I don’t think I’m alone in feeling like everything on this place we call Planet Earth is terrible right now. Mostly because a bigoted, beady-eyed mop man partial to Valencia-orange spray tans has power boated, ass pinched, and butt picked his way to the Presidential contest. The whole charade is sort of starting to feel like the first few chapters of a sci-fi paperback– when the autocratic overlord is hurtling toward consolidating his dystopian reign, and you can’t believe that no one saw it coming.

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